Home News First commercial wave energy producing unit installed off the coast of Peniche

First commercial wave energy producing unit installed off the coast of Peniche

Published on 18/11/2019

The first unit belonging to the new Peniche wave energy park has been successfully set up on the seabed off the coast of Peniche, announced Finnish company AW Energy.

Through the company’s official website, AW Energy’s CEO, Christopher Ridgewell, has confirmed that the unit, the first of its type to produce energy on a commercial scale, was installed “successfully” near Almagreira Beach in Peniche, in the district of Leiria.

Since the floating platform was submerged, technicians are constantly monitoring performance via remote control and testing to adjust the system to achieve the best performance.

The first data collected “indicates that the unit (Wave Roller) is working well and its performance is in line with expectations.”

The assembly of the prototype for the commercial phase of wave motion-based electricity production, with an installed power of 350 kilowatts, was completed in mid-September in Peniche.

Last week, the “real-deal” unit was towed to the site, submerged and installed on the high seas at a depth between 15-25 meters, near the coast. The next step is connection to the electricity grid.

The technology consists of a vertical panel that moves with the sea currents, capturing energy that is transmitted to a hydraulic system and from there to a power plant.

The company estimates that it will produce five megawatts (MW) of power, enough to supply 4,000 homes with electricity.

The production of energy from waves, because it is less intermittent than wind or solar energy, has a potential equivalent to that of wind and solar energy together. Around 20% of the electricity consumed in Portugal and Spain comes from wind energy.

AW Energy aims to create a large commercial park off the coast of Portugal, with an installed capacity of between 50 and 100 MW, an investment that should amount to 100 million euros and put Portugal at the forefront of wave energy production.